The Vudoo Gun Works website touts, “With methods common in the aerospace industry, Vudoo has been able to redefine the production of the 1911. This is accomplished by ensuring that all components are manufactured to very close tolerances…”
For my long-time readers, that promise sounds familiar, and foreboding. Whenever I hear “aerospace industry” and “very close tolerances” from a 1911 manufacturer, I prepare myself to be disappointed.
The Mobius did not disappoint.
The Vudoo Gun Works Mobius single stack 1911 reminded me of why I love a full-frame 1911 so much in the first place. It looks great, works perfectly, and is an absolute joy to shoot.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, this is the same company that made the best rimfire bolt gun I’ve ever had the pleasure to fire.
The Vudoo rimfire action is genius and Vudoo brought that same level of ingenuity to the 1911. This time, it wasn’t in the design of the action or the gun itself, but in the manufacturing process.
Vudoo Gun Works actually machines the Mobius’s frame in two separate halves, starting with two pieces of 416 stainless steel. This allows them to use shorter, fatter, more stable tools to mill out the frame and rails, and get extremely consistent surfaces during the original cut. Then they electron beam weld the two halves together.
If they didn’t tell you they do it that way, you’d never know.
Vudoo Gun Works states their method of manufacturing provides “lead times that are measured in weeks rather than months.” They mean it. At SHOT Show, I told their rep what I wanted a T&E gun…optic cut only, no sights. Black frame and slide. Single-sided safety. Slight extended and flared mag well. I left everything else to them. I wasn’t terribly picky since the gun was going back to them anyway.
Two weeks later I got an email asking me for my FFL information. Seriously, I had only just recovered from SHOT Show, but a couple days later the gun I asked for was at my door.
For most of my custom guns, including 1911s, I figure a year is a reasonable wait time. Some big shops can get it done in much less time, but even so, six months is pretty good. Two weeks? Ridiculous.
Vudoo is able to do this because almost everything on the gun is built in house, and they claim the method they use for production means that assembly and “hand fitting” is extremely short.
When I say short, I mean that I detail clean a 1911 in about the time it takes for them to assemble one from the parts they’ve made. It looks like the finishes themselves are the biggest driver of wait times.
For the finish, Vudoo Gun Works advertises only a few different options; black nitride, all stainless, and two-tone. They may offer others, but they only advertise these three, and other finishes may extend the delivery time and cost.
Their black nitride finish is excellent. This can be a hard finish to do well, as any imperfections really stand out. On the Mobius, nothing stands out other than its consistency…and fingerprints.
The slide geometry is interesting, with a tri-topped cut and a serrated top surface. This is certainly my preferred design and it’s already what I’ve had done on my own custom 1911s.
The serrated top, along with the cut itself, makes the sight come right to the eye and appear to kind of “float” in the air above your hands. It makes for not just a great-looking gun, but a functional piece of design for fast sight acquisition on the draw as well as follow-up shots.
As much as I like the geometry of the slide, I’m not sold on the flats. With the diagonal cuts fore and aft, as well a the logo near the muzzle and obligatory lettering, the addition of the fine horizontal lines across the entire face makes the slide a bit busy. Some may like it, but it reminds me of pin striping on a car, and I prefer to let the shape and finish speak for themselves.
One thing I love is that the geometry of the slide was followed through to the underside of the dust cover. It’s not something you even see from the side of the gun, but you do from the bottom, and it’s a very nice bit of attention to design detail.
No sights were included with this T&E model — at my request — but you can have a range of sights installed by Vudoo Gun Works if you prefer. I wanted to try a smooth front with an optic cut while I was trying out a few different optics.
In this case, I asked Vudoo for an RMR cut, and used a Trijicon RMR as well as an adapter plate from Shield to run a series of RMSc footprint optics for reviews. The RMR fit snug and tight, as it should, as did the plate. If you want an optic cut, just tell them what you want and they’ll oblige.
Expect a standard barrel bushing with a full-length guide rod. Field strip and full detail strip are exactly as you would expect on any series 70 gun. Super simple.
The frame includes sharp, crisp checkering on the front and back straps, a slight undercut on the trigger guard, and a beavertail safety with a “memory bump.” The grip safety never failed to disengage even once with any grip I used. Also note the skeletonized hammer with it’s deeply knurled top.
This particular gun has a mild magazine well extending below the grip. It blends into the shape of the grip and serves to perfectly funnel a magazine into the gun. Vudoo includes two Wilson Combat magazines with the pistol in its plastic hard case. The supplied magazines have the standard WC base pad, but if you’re going to have a mag well on the gun, the EDM base pad would be a better option, just in case you needed to forcibly strip the magazine from the gun.
One of the few things Vudoo doesn’t make on these guns are the grip panels themselves. For that, they look to VZ Grips and add a custom Vudoo Gun Works medallion.
The trigger breaks crisply and cleanly, and the pulls from my Lyman Trigger Scale all recorded 3 lbs 4 oz. Over five trigger pulls, there was a total of .2 oz of variation. Outstanding.
It’s also customizable. They have trigger shoes in various lengths, finishes, and you can choose between solid or a cut-out style.
I ran 500 rounds through the Mobius with a wide array of .45 ACP ammunition from several manufacturers. I ran bullet weights from 185 to 230 grains. I ran hollow points, flat points, FMJs and a few home-molded SWCs as well. Not one single problem. Zero failures to feed or fire.
No magazine (Wilson, Colt, and Chip McCormack) failed to feed, lock in, lock back on an empty magazine, or eject. The gun ran perfectly. I even ran it with a home rolled 185 gr flat point that chokes just about every 1911 I own, save a Kimber Ultra Covert ii (of all things). So now there’s a total of two guns that will run that bullet. The Mobius came well-lubed so I never lubed it again or cleaned it during the entire review, until it was time to take photos.
Sometimes with 1911s we trade precision for reliability. Not this time.
Group size was somewhat dependent on the size of the dot on the optic I used. With a 2.5 MOA dot, no center-to-center group I shot was larger than 1.3″ (Remington UMC). Barely sub 1″ groups were more common with any higher quality ammunition.
A great all-around load, a 230 gr FMJ over 6.5 gr of Unique, printed extremely consistent .9″ groups. I think if I had asked for a thin fiber optic front sight, I could have shrunk those groups down even more. All groups were shot at 25 yards, untimed, off of bags, and are the average of five shots over four shot strings.
The Vudoo Gun Works Mobius reminded me of why I, like so many other shooters, love a high quality 1911. They offer the gun in 9mm or .45 ACP, but I was glad I asked for the original chambering. It was a joy to shoot. The touted quality of the fitment is real. That precise fit might not be apparent when you look at the gun, but it’s glaringly obvious when you shoot it.
The gun draws fast and points fast. Magazine changes happen almost by instinct. The Mobius’s slide absolutely glides on its rails. Fast follow-up shots were easy and fun, and I found that three rounds on the Mozambique drill came to the target faster than I can actually say “onetwothree.”
It would take more shooting than I have time for — and more money than my ammo budget would allow — for me to ever tire of shooting this gun.
SPECIFICATIONS Vudoo Gun Works Mobius 1911
Caliber: .45 ACP (9x19mm also available)
Action: Semi Auto Classic 1911
Finish: Black Nitride (other finishes available)
Trigger: Custom Stainless
Sights: Novak Lo Mount Adjustable, Novak Black front blade
Magazine: 2 Stainless Magazines
Grips: VZ Rosewood, VZ Dirty Olive, VZ Black Slants, VZ Hyena
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance * * * * ½
I don’t like the horizontal lines on the slide. I wish I could find something else I don’t like but that’s it, and that ding is purely subjective.
Customization * * * * *
It’s a custom 1911, so tell them what you want. (They also make a double stack and a .22 LR)
Accuracy * * * * *
Sub 1-inch groups at 25 yards.
Reliability * * * * *
Overall * * * * *
It’s not easy to get a 5-star review on a 1911 from me. The Vudoo Gun Works Mobius earned it. This one was very hard to send back.
THANKS INFOR ALWAYS , WHEW THE PRICE ,
I LIKE OPEN TARGET SIGHTS ,, WISH COULD MAKE IT SO CAN DO SIGHTS YOURSELF , MAKE EASY EXCHANGE OUT OF FRONT AND REAR SIGHTS ..
Well I was all in until the suspected msrp, otherwise it sounds like a showpiece.
Hilariously beyond my current budget as well but the manufacturing process is interesting and will hopefully bring up quality of other builds or prices down of higher end pieces if/when applied elsewhere.
I’m going to go to my grave saying a full length guide rod is nothing but a pain in the ass, and I’ll never have one in my 1911’s.
What a wonderful piece that is! And an excellent review as always. Whenever I get back in the market for something very expensive, I’ll definitely take a look at these. Thank you for sharing!
Whoosh dangit , boy howdy, that sure is nice but I just cant go 3 grand on a pistul.
When I spray painted my HiPoint gold I should have covered the trigger, now it gets all gummy and you have to pry it out with your claw.
Price is consistent with Wilson, Nighthawk, Ed Brown, Guncrafter. All high end semi-custom 1911 makers.
Lots of people don’t like the price. Life’s too short to shoot ugly guns.
Ugly is in the eye of the beholder.
or beer holder. Never went to bed with an ugly woman. Sure woke up with a few!
All women are 10’s at closing time.
something about rating spread say 5 through 4 (pm to am) representing the o’clock you’d be willing to leave with her. 5 being one of farago’s ism’s, 4 being the dregs.
I think that Jon Wayne Taylor is an excellent gun writer.
I wonder if he is related to the late Norman Loys Taylor.
I wonder if Vudoo would make me one in .460 Rowland
caliber with a 6 inch barrel and no compensator.
But does it take Glock mags?
its a great gun
if and only if:
1 you insist on spending 2-3x more money than required on any given thing
2 you like boring and
3 youre fascinated with the .45 aarp cartridge
The .45aarp is younger then a 9mm Luger.
The only thing that makes the 9mm cartridge even half good is the modern advancements in the bullet and powder technology, something that cant be achieved with a .45acp.
I’m sure if the .45 could use smokeless powder it would be just as good as a 9mm Luger.
Girl copettes/troopettes can handle the 9mm (or .40).
You’ve once again given me a serious case of “I want”.
If I could afford one, I would buy one.
A firearm like that would hold its value more so than others.
And it is the kind of piece that is passed down to the next generation.
what a great thing.
when i window shop i cruise the sti, dw and ithaca aisles.
So if it has minimal hand fitting, why is it priced like a hand made pistol?
DW, which is made with precise tolerances for minimal fitting, is half the price. This is WC pricing for a DW quality product.
The subject of the review looks like a dream. Out of my budget! And just to say it, this review was just a joy to read. I don’t know how you would do a more excellently written review.
I can spend a quarter of the price of that gun on something that will give me 90% of its appeal. I don’t begrudge the folks who have the money and want the gun, as long as there continue to be more affordable guns for us peasants.
This method of manufacturing can also be used on a AR lower receiver. You can pin, glue and screw it together if you machine additional bosses on the halves, and not have to deal with welding.
Alternatively (on both 1911’s and AR’s) you could use alignment pins to hold the halves in place, clamp and TIG weld them together. You’ll have to dress off the weld a bit, but that’s just driving a hand file…
Stop it. Just stop it.